Borrowing by American households rose at a faster pace in September on increased lending for auto purchases and bigger credit-card balances.
The $28.9 billion jump in total credit followed a $16 billion gain in the previous month, Federal Reserve figures showed Friday. Non-revolving debt, which includes funding for college tuition and auto purchases, rose $22.2 billion, the most since July 2011.
Borrowing probably remained elevated in October in the wake of the strongest back-to-back months of motor vehicle sales in 15 years. Having made progress in restoring their balance sheets after the last recession, some households are more willing to finance purchases as the labor market continues to improve.
The median forecast of 31 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for an $18 billion increase in credit, with estimates ranging from gains of $10 billion to $26 billion.
The Fed’s consumer credit report doesn’t track debt secured by real estate, such as home equity lines of credit and home mortgages.
The pickup in non-revolving credit in September followed a $12 billion increase the previous month.
Revolving debt rose $6.7 billion, the biggest gain in three months, after a $4 billion advance, the data showed.